Windsor Castle From The West
The Changing of the Guard, access to St George’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Dolls House and The State Rooms and Semi-State Rooms ,the walkways and courtyards. The key feature being the sumptuous State Rooms which includes a collection of fine porcelain, suits of armour, ancient armaments, works of art, a banqueting suite, chandeliers and so forth. Photography is not allowed inside the buildings, but the Links give a good indication of what to expect.
Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard proceeds from the barracks on the right of the aerial view (below) at 10:45 am. It passes through the main gates and arrives in the lower castle courtyard at 11:00 am where the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard begins. At 11:15 the old guard leaves and proceeds back to the barracks. They do this every day. Times may vary and there may be some dates missed at Windsor. Check The procession can be viewed from the street or following admission to the Castle.
Admission to the Castle
The entrance is past the castle gate at the top of Castle Street, just at the end of the row of trees. If arriving at Windsor and Eton Central rail station, proceed up the shopping mall, turn right at the top and left at the statue of Queen Victoria. Opening times and Prices. Prices vary and can be cheaper earlier in the week so please check.
There is an airport style security station. After this a walkway leads to the central access point and then a U bend that brings one beside the large central turret, which has a garden where the moat used to be. There is then a choice of continuing around the turret, through the Norman Arch and on to Queen Mary’s Dolls House and the State Rooms. Alternatively one can turn left and proceed towards St George’s Chapel and the parade ground where the guard change. Exit is through the keep, back onto the road.
I was there on a Friday, just after the guard changed as where many others. Consequently there where long queues for the Dolls House and State Rooms. There are two queues, one for both attractions and one for the State Rooms only. They queues were very much reduced by 1:30. Taking lunch whilst waiting seemed like a good idea. Be aware, open containers are not allowed inside any of the castle rooms. .
This is the band leading the old guard back to barracks, followed by the old guard themselves.
Here is the exit and a statue of Queen Victoria at the bottom of Castle Hill, just where the guard turn. I tried to get her best side. Honestly from the front she could sink ships.
This is one of the first sights and leads to the Moat garden. Further around the old moat is a the Norman Gate. These light fixtures can be seen in many places. This is just outside the entrance to the Dolls House and State Rooms. There are a row of benches and one can take a pew with a view. This is a view of Eton College. It was definitely worth waiting to see the State Rooms. Photographs are not allowed but you can get an idea by returning to the Links further up the page. Back to the parade ground and the lonely sentry at the end. On the left there are some of the apartments.
If you are lucky you will see a small group of guard about their business. In fact you will hear them first. British sergeant majors do very good impression of screaming eagles and have been known to cut hair with their voices. The poor fellow on his own is not allowed to move even his eyes and not allowed to speak to anyone. They draw tourists who photograph them constantly and have photographs taken beside them. I think the sentries must have an off switch.
Turning to look back up the slope there is the entrance to St George’s Chapel. And, it’s always worth looking up. Then out through the gate, directly opposite is a flower seller. This street and the one to the right have several cafes and taverns. Including this one. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse and thank you for visiting. 🙂
The River Thames at Windsor offers a pleasant afternoon and a good follow-on from a visit to Windsor Castle. There are both Tour Boats and Hire Boats available. The tour boats provide a frequent 40 minute service and an occasional two-hour trip. I took the two-hour tour and thought it quite good value for money. Unfortunately there are no river trips from the City due to the many intervening locks. French Bros public boat trips. You can book online but you don’t have to. There are other hire companies included in Travel by Train, Map/Tour and Hire Boats. But first a word from our sponsor.
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum.
Where’s Fred. It’s mine I tell you.
First we go under the bridge and then we come back under the bridge. Good game.
Call that a duck.
Personally I prefer one of these. The upper deck is a simple array of chairs and they were quite happy for me to bring my own tea and sandwiches, bought from an outlet near to the ticket office. The lower deck is more plush with a bar and snacks.
The first part of the tour is quite pretty. It then gets a little dull for a while until after the lock. There is a commentary indicating places of interest and the homes of the famous.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and thank you for visiting.